England’s new three tier system came into effect on 2 December after the national lockdown was lifted.
Non-essential shops in all areas can reopen, as can gyms, hairdressers and other personal care businesses, with the formal instruction to stay at home coming to an end. The “rule of six” will again apply for outdoor gatherings in all areas.
Places of worship will be able to open and weddings will be allowed within local restrictions.
Here are the rules in tier 1:
Under the new system hospitality businesses in England can stay open until 11pm with table service only but last orders must be made by 10pm, in an effort to stagger departures. The “rule of six” will also remain in place indoors, meaning social household mixing is still allowed.
Spectator sport is set to resume, albeit with limits on numbers and abiding by social distancing. In tier 1, there will be a maximum crowd capacity outdoors of 50% of occupancy of the stadium or 4,000 people, whichever is smaller. Indoors, the maximum capacity is 1,000.
In tier 1, people will be encouraged to minimise travel and work from home where possible. Support bubbles – which allowed a single household to join with another household – are also being broadened across all tiers. Parents with a child under one will be able to form a support bubble, as well as those with a child under five who needs continuous care, such as a child with a disability. Also, in cases where there is a single adult carer, for a partner with dementia for example, they would also be able to form a support bubble.
The full government rules and guidance for tier 1 can be found here.
When will the tiers be reviewed?
The tiers will will be reviewed on 16 December, any changes to the tiers will be announced on 17 December, and changes will come into force on 19 December.
For five days over Christmas – from 23 December to 27 December – there will be a UK-wide relaxation of rules to let up to three households form a ‘bubble’ so they can mix socially indoors and stay overnight to enjoy the festive period together.
In Scotland, a maximum of eight people will be allowed but that does not include under-12s. In Northern Ireland, the window has been extended to 22-28 December to allow for additional travel time between countries.
These are the areas currently in tier 1:
Isle of Wight
Isles of Scilly
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